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About rd.

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  1. rd.

    What monsters are best used for open areas?

    All of 'em? So, first off, any monster can be placed if it is fun to fight. This is relevant in spaces that, for one reason or another, don't allow you to create danger effectively. Nothing wrong with giving the player something to battle in an easy, enjoyable way that doesn't take too long. Second, if you are finding that all your open areas fit that above description of not permitting you to create danger effectively, think about mixing up how you design them. A huge circular open field and a mid-sized crescent-shaped valley are both "open areas," but they are going to play a lot differently. If you are looking to make your spaces play well, understanding how to design areas in terms of space and terrain is just as important as monster use. Finally, in terms of placement, be aware of the option to use turrets and cliffs and ledges and windows and cages and so on, which can allow some monsters to maintain their positions and stay out of each other's lines of fire, avoiding situations where everything in an area bunches up and eventually infights. Like the point about space and terrain, this is a "general concept" that is as important as any specific monster know-how. With that in mind, there are some useful roles to be aware of. I will assume for now you are not designing slaughterish maps. - Former human troopers are effective hitscanners for larger spaces. Their chip damage forces you to take them seriously, especially groups of them, but they aren't overbearing and annoying, and even high numbers of them go down fast. - In larger spaces, mancubi and arachnotrons are great sources of efficient pressure, with a high threat-to-HP ratio, because of the number of projectiles they shoot, and the arachnotron's sustained fire. Their attacks look visually imposing, which can create the impression of danger and threat even in huge spaces where the actual pressure level is necessarily low. - Imps are easy to kill, and can put out a lot of projectiles relative to their HP. It is hard to truly overuse imps as long as the player has the means to kill them. A wall of imp projectiles can be really cool and fun. - A low number of revenants can add a lot of pressure thanks to homing missiles. - Flying monsters have the advantage of mobility, which can make them especially useful in spaces that aren't freely traversable by the player or other monsters. Even if they aren't all that dangerous, a handful of cacodemons moving from one area to another to engage the player can be cool. - The rest of the big threats: if you are using pain elementals, viles, and bosses, you should know specifically what you intend for them, and have a situation in mind. The key general point about PEs and viles is that they often temporarily tether the player to specific spots in an open environment, the PE by encouraging the player to kill it, the vile with its requirement for cover. - Commander keen - Pinkies, HKs, barons (gasp): not always the most obvious monsters to use meaningfully outside of horde possibilities when the player can move very freely, but you shouldn't shy away from using them. They can be good complementary monsters, and emergent behavior always has value: a few pinkies in a big space might not have an obvious purpose, but they could end up being a temporary source of dynamic cover against something else, for example. It's always useful to think in synergistic terms too: pinkies might be a slight meatshield for a vile, for example. Or with more specific roles: some HKs might be low-priority monsters that guard a cache of supplies in a bigger fight, for example. Those three points apply to the rest of the monsters. - Sergeants and chaingunners: with no cover these can be annoying. If they are hard to spot and cover long distances beyond your targeting range, they can be annoying. But in moderation, and with cover, or with deliberate nerfing tactics (e.g. some chaingunners are given line of sight over a small part of the terrain instead of all of it) they can be fun, so there is no need to avoid them entirely. Anyway, play good maps that have open spaces and study what they are doing too. Some things can't be put into words. Hope this helps!
  2. This is something I needed to fill in because I realized that it might not be widely known. In the discussions of slaughterwads that would crop up over and over years ago, I think the whole Doom-as-chess angle supporters would push, justifying the appeal of harder maps with abstract notions of strategy and all that, has painted a misleading image of "challenge Doom" as something just very abstract and technical and removed from actual emotion. (I think I probably ended up going with that explanation myself a couple times.) When I first got into mapping, the main appeal of hard Doom was crafting pleasurable feelings and adrenaline rushes (among other comparable things), which is a philosophy I still carry with me. The intensity was always predominantly a means of creating strong emotions, like the slow burn of oppression where you have to walk a tightrope and get to breathe cathartic release when you are done, or like the sheer thrill of chaos like a flame that consumes you, or something in between or different altogether. A hard map wasn't a wall you had to surmount to "prove yourself." I think that philosophy was why, in addition to the korens and Ribbiks and Dotws of the world, people who normally didn't play challenging maps would show up with praise in my threads. I sometimes boot up wads like Sunlust and Stardate 20x7 -- and when I do it's mostly not because I want to do something hard, or test skills, like someone doing a strenuous workout or, worse, eating their daily roughage. It's because the fights are pleasurable in themselves on a more basal level. Abstract strategy and abstract skill testing ends up factoring into such things on a secondary basis, due to opportunism (the possibility for it is conveniently right there), and probably because it kind of has to at times (a super intense fight that is completely anti-strategic also likely deprives the player of agency, which is not very conducive to fun), but I wouldn't consider it the top-layer appeal for me (at best it's part of a 1a-1b tandem). Imo, above all, a good Really Hard Map, to me, feels good to play. (Usually that is at least true for its target audience, or for members of the target audience that are open to the map's chosen mechanics (there is still a lot of room for subjectivity), even if isn't true for anyone else.) If one is type to enjoy modern "challenging but fair" wads (like BTSX and Vanguard), with their intensity and all the attending feelings they produce, they likely already know, by analogy, this feeling as it's created by many "super challenging and not quite ostensibly fair" wads in those who like that thing. In fact you might be part of both audiences (like I am). One of the things I haven't seen anyone do is describe a map like, let's say, Sunlust m20, purely in terms of the feelings it aims to create (and succeeds at creating). Like part of the genius of the infamous crypt fight with the cyberdemon is that the space is just perfectly sized so that you can make these slick narrow desperation jukes around the cyber if it hems you in, and the appeal is not a deliberate skill-test thing but more that it feels scary and then really good to pull off, and that this doesn't happen every time in the fight (i.e. the fight is not rigidly controlled as much as it's seemingly tested for a high likelihood of fun super-intense things happening) so that natural variability also gives it quite a bit of replay value. (Although that fight is probably a bit too variable to be as lethal as it is.) And of course that's just part of it -- the crypt area has a pretty rich psychological warfare angle. An exegesis on stuff like that could easily sound arcane, and it'll get verbose almost by necessity, which I think is why the "Doom as chess" explanation, which is far more immediately self-evident and easily packaged, became so appealing.
  3. rd.

    Quick Rant

    I quickly searched that server and found like three people who fit that description lol. Options: a) report them (if they do it a lot then you have evidence), or b) leave because then it's obviously a shit server. This is a misplaced comment on Doomworld where obnoxious Brutal Doom discussions historically happen mostly when people ... start unusual threads about Brutal Doom.
  4. rd.

    2 Scrapped Egg Boy Maps

    01 The title made me laugh when I opened the automap. The style of Scythe X is there, as are some memorable landmarks, but a lot of features are just different enough that this reads not as a homage but as the slightly comedic "bootleg" it's referred to as. It is well crafted, with really clean texturing and use of repeated detail. Flow has a hitch around the RK->BK part, which forces an unexpectedly long detour for this style of layout -- a layout that looks like it's made for really slick progression instead. In terms of combat, the crusher area and the revenant outro were my highlights. Most of the rest is pretty inert compared to similar content in Scythe X. The complex is full of narrow thresholds, and after the beginning, groups of monsters are only ever introduced into one area at a time. This means that you can retreat to, or stay camped out behind, the nearest threshold. 02 Cool. With two setpieces and some connective tissue, it is the kind of small map that sits midway between the sort of concept agnosticism typical of tiny Scythey maps -- "have some monsters, have fun" -- and a more overt gimmick map. That is another way of saying the few encounters it has feel really thought out, despite the short build time. The first main fight gives you a choice between dueling four revs with no better than the chaingun, or grabbing the SSG and adding a vile to a claustrophobic mix. Both choices are fun. There is also an elegant solution, trading chaos for precision, of herding the four revenants into the central cage before picking up the SSG. The cyberbullying portion has a bunch of neat ideas: from the itinerary you have to tackle for the teased yellow key, to the way ammo and the number of useful infighters is limited to prevent easy early disposal of the cyber, to the foreshadowed revs and viles, to platforming and that nest of barrel-loving zombies. This area is like a minigame in itself. Execution would be smoother if the doorways in this portion were large enough to allow the cyberdemon easy pathing between zones. Cybie would often get caught up in one for a while, which defuses some of the tension. I didn't notice the switch in the western dual revenant closet for a short while, which I would chalk up to the low light level inside.
  5. I like the music and theme. This was fun. Have an FDA. - some of the secrets felt like they existed to pad the secret count - viles in the last fight felt a bit unfair, bc there is no way to know where they are when they are suddenly flung into the environment somewhere - door-marshalling fights early with the shotgun and chaingun aren't all that engaging
  6. rd.

    Why are different forums in DOOM General?

    Read this post. I have seen the occasional wayward project thread in Doom General, but if you are contending that there is "so much filler," that it happens often, odds are you are misunderstanding the purpose of these forums and what belongs where.
  7. Not mine but from @Nevanos: booty blasting is finishing off an infighting cyberdemon with a BFG shot to its rear.
  8. Reliving the End This is Doom 2 map29 reincarnated, in many senses as its tonal inverse. The playfully swashbuckling background MIDI, Atomic.mid by Jimmy, points our ears in that direction right away. From there, the gameplay is all free-wheeling guns-blazing dopamine-rushing chaingun cha-cha stuff, rather than the slow build of its structural inspiration. Rocket boxes and, later, cell packs, are handed out like (suspicious) candy, which is a big shift from the original's clamped-down pistol start that requires secret-hunting for a smooth ride. The architectural scale is blown up immensely -- two whole Living Ends[1] would fit in Alter's mammoth cavern -- so you have a lot of space to move while spamming away all that ammo. This type of reconfiguration is cool. Thematic and conceptual subversions are far from unheard of, but it's rare to see such a deliberate commitment to a particular brand of gamefeel subversion. The core construction is on the spartan end, so the visual appeal is grounded more in the presentational verve. It's in arachnotrons and mancubi that lob attacks from miles away. (When they infight, the ones located near you can send streams of projectiles miles into the distance, which is fun to watch. I always rooted for the arachnotrons.) It's in the expected assortment of slowly rising catwalks. It's in big setpieces with lots and lots of revenants or archviles, and the almost gratuitous number of fights featuring siege cows. And it's hard to miss, or forget, the spectacle of the raging inferno in the skybox, towering above everything. I want to revisit this sometime. Was quite fun. [1] Sounds vaguely like a butt pun that I don't intend.
  9. rd.

    Ancient Aliens proofs [-complevel 9]

    @RobUrHP420 If you are recording the actual demo with the settings in the linked video, turning pain palette changes off is frowned upon and considered a "soft" form of TAS, because of the visibility advantages that it can offer.
  10. Added a few standalone maps to the OP: Hoover Dam, Reliving the End, and Kingpin's Lair, which are vanilla, Boom, and vanilla again. Hoover Dam Had not played this one before, though I had heard of it and its status as a classic. So much feels ahead of its time, like the clever interconnectedness of the layout, the compactness with which areas are situated relative to one another, and the clear exposition of goals like key doors before they are meant to be interacted with. Progression repeatedly wends through important nodes, two or three in each key-color zone, and each time you double back over one, you learn that groups of monsters have been infused into the flow of combat. I was reminded of the modern trope of the "backtracking fight," but these occurrences are first-class citizens in the map's overall flow, rather than throwaway encounters that exist more to keep you active. Less modern is the sheer frequency of grid-like rock shafts exactly 64 map units in width, but honestly, it was satisfying to plow through these regions, big weapons in hand, Doomguy maniacally grinning, [rest of sentence drowned out by plasma rifle noise] The adventure is choreographed expertly. Combined with striking scale and use of naturalistic features by 1995 standards, it's easy to see why this became well known. that imp: "hi Mom I'm on TV"
  11. complevel 9 enforces the settings that a map would have been tested with if cl 9 is suggested. cl -1, which is better thought of as "that version of prBoom+'s default" than a proper complevel, is visibly quite similar, but differs in meaningful and potentially disastrous ways. The most critical is infighting behavior. With complevel 9, monsters will infight the expected way -- a freshly alerted cyberdemon, hit first by a hell knight, will turn its attention away from you and attack the hell knight. prBoom+'s default with cl -1 is a lot different. It enforces a new set of rules called "smart infighting behavior." Unlike in the complevel 9 scenario, monsters will pretty much act as if they were damaged by the player. The cyberdemon struck by the hell knight will often stay trained on you. That can be ruinous, or at the very least, create dynamics that were not tested. cl -1 also breaks in specific edge cases. Sunlust has a quirky encounter that relies on a candle being able to telefrag a monster in the map30 slot. This failed to work as intended with cl -1 in one person's playthrough. Beyond specific known edge cases, there is also the issue that cl -1 relies on info in the player's compatibility settings, which can be anything. That can clash with what has been tested or even lead to breakages. For example, death exits do not work in cl -1 if "dead players can exit level" is set off for whatever reason. cl 9, enforcing its own suite of options which allows dead players to exit, would sidestep that issue. Finally, what happens if you have all the sensible defaults you haven't fiddled with and have decided that cl -1 won't break on this particular mapset -- and you are right about that. Fine, but there is no guarantee of a port's settings remaining constant into the future. complevel 9 is a historical standard that is, at least in theory, designed to be impervious against possible changes. Even GZDoom updates mess up specific wads, sometimes in minor ways, sometimes in larger ways, due to changes in default options. 99%+ of the time it does nothing. Even with vanilla settings, where monsters go dormant after kills, a monster immediately wakes up again if sound has already propagated through the sector they are in. (That is why you will hear a lot of background cyb mooing in runs like these.) It is something more like a tic that caught on. In a sense, it feels awkward to stand in place or do weird little dances, under no pressure, waiting for infights. So punching preserves the regular flow of the game where, at all moments, you are doing something physical. Further reading.
  12. rd.

    Things about Doom you just found out

    I learned about strafewalk-50 today. The movement angle is ~63.5° relative to the center of your view, and your movement speed is 12% faster than standard running. It looks really goofy. Inputs here are those required for straferun-50 but with autorun off.
  13. rd.

    generic slaughter map

    The key to this type of platforming is instantaneously tapping the keys that bring your momentum to zero, the moment you land. If you are moving forward, you tap back, and raise your fingers off the keys. If you are straferunning forward and left, you tap back and right. Longer than a tap, and you might slip into an awkward calibration dance: back up almost fall, oops, move forward almost fall again, oops, again and again, sort of jankily oscillating to a hopeful stop with a lot that can go wrong.
  14. rd.

    Are Secrets Really Necessary

    There can be a discussion about whether secrets that alter balance significantly are truly "harming" it. But putting that aside, secrets (useful, powerful, well placed, not-superfluous, freebie ones with no strings like difficult fights attached... just to clear out the "gotchas") don't always affect balance much, in the sense of making maps easier. Instead, they might provide another option that isn't necessarily better, but is fun to mix in. For example, in a run 'n' gun map with ample rockets scattered around, you might never run out if you stick to using the rocket launcher against important threats. A secret cache might give you the option of using rockets on lone imps just to amuse yourself. In a map with ample health, you might find it difficult, even with sloppy play, to exhaust literally every stimpack or medkit that exists. (And if you do, running out of armor might be your bigger issue.) So the practical effect of a cluster of secret medkits might be the choice to avoid a protracted search for health you've left lying around. A secret cyber telefrag might have the subtext "maxes are optional, so you can always run away from this awkward perched cyberdemon instead of tediously killing it, but if you do want a max, or to replay the map, I've got you." In one extreme case, I played a map with a plasma rifle and cells available early on. It also had a secret no-strings-attached BFG. Normally that sounds like a death sentence to balance, but it did not feel overpowered because there was a trade-off -- the spaces were well shaped to fire streams of plasma from safe distance at groups of monsters, and the plasma rifle was also well suited to the scattered incidental hitscanners that were common. The BFG, though more powerful, would require you to get closer to dangerous threats, and misplaced tracers might have you soaking up chaingunner damage or being forced to cover your mistake with a wasteful extra shot. Basically, a mapper who is in tune with their map, and knows what the mainline balance requires of the player, can design for secrets to be useful and appealing but not dominant. In practice, it is the rare map that uses this approach with all of its secrets, because again, it's debatable that simply making things easier is bad. But the existence of this type of secret shows that (free) secrets are far from innately anti-balancing.
  15. rd.

    Help/tips for a disabled Doom player?

    If you have the means, an option is to buy a left-handed gaming mouse with side buttons, and bind those buttons to strafe. (Some ports won't allow direct binding of extra mouse buttons to in-game actions. A good gaming mouse will solve that by letting you bind the extra buttons to keyboard inputs.)